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But while his fellow students were better within days, Lloyd was left in crippling pain, bloated and barely able to move.‘I kept feeling worse and worse,’ he says when I meet him at the X Factor house in North London, where he has been living with the other finalists during the contest.
He says the most distressing symptom was severe constipation: ‘There was so much pain and bloating.
The singer then sailed through the ‘judges’ houses’ heat of the contest to win a place at the final in front of a live audience and 4.3 million TV viewers.
It is a remarkable achievement, given that four years ago the South Wales native was confined to a hospital ward and terrified after losing seven stone in just two months.
This response causes the digestive system to malfunction and results in inflammation of the entire gut – affecting every part of the system from mouth to anus.
The cause of Crohn’s disease remains unknown, although it is thought to be genetic.
Lloyd was aged 18, 6ft 3in tall and weighed 19 stone and was halfway through his second year of studying Welsh at Cardiff University when, during a dinner with his flatmates, he started to suffer from stomach pains.
He says: ‘When millions of people know who you are, you’re in a position to help other people.
He has already won the hearts of millions of X Factor viewers across Britain with his beaming smile and Welsh charm.
But behind the curtain, would-be pop star Lloyd Macey – dubbed on social media as The Voice of the Valleys – is battling an incurable, chronic disease.
But then I joined a Facebook Crohn’s support group and I read other people’s stories.
I was so shocked to see that Crohn’s and other bowel diseases affect so many.’Lloyd was also faced with a stark reality: in severe cases, Crohn’s patients may need a temporary or permanent stoma – or port – and colostomy bag as the damage to the bowel can become so bad that normal elimination of waste is impossible.